Kristien Hemmerechts, David Rowbotham, Norah Lofts, Cecil Scott Forester

De Belgische schrijfster Kristien Hemmerechts werd geboren in Brussel op 27 augustus 1955. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010.


Uit: Over literaire honden

„De staart, de nieuwe roman van Patricia de Martelaere, heeft wat met honden. Theo, de hoofdfiguur, denkt ‘aan de alfabetische lijst van honderassen die hij ooit, samen met de rasbeschrijvingen en de standaardnormen, uit het hoofd heeft geleerd.’ De lezer krijgt exacte informatie over de sint-bernard, de bokser, de dobermann, de poedel, de Duitse herdershond, de Afghaanse windhond, de golden retriever, de chihuahua, de collie, de rottweiler, de buldog, de Chinese shar-pei, de chow-chow, de karabash of Anatolische herdershond, de Ierse wolfshond, de mopshond. Dat gebeurt in de vorm van steekkaarten, die in de ‘taalstroom’ (zonder hoofdstukken, zonder alinea’s) tussen andere tekstsegmenten gemonteerd staan. Maar ook in het ‘verhaal’ lopen nogal wat honden rond, zoals Boes, Kazan en Hermes. Theo, die vaak als kind of puber wordt opgevoerd, wil zo vreselijk graag een hond op moeilijke momenten in zijn bestaan, bijvoorbeeld als hij geen vriend meer heeft. Soms ook voelt hij zich hopeloos verloren tussen zijn altijd zieke moeder en zijn vader-met-het-vampieregezicht, die buldert dat hij nooit volwassen zal worden, altijd kind zal blijven en van wie hij weet met wie hij zal trouwen na mama’s dood. Dan kan een hond helpen. Want sommige honden springen tegen je op als ze je zien en weten dan met hun blijdschap geen blijf; ze blijven maar likken aan je gezicht, terwijl hun staart ‘roffelend tegen de deurpost slaat’. En je moet niet vrezen dat ze genegenheid veinzen, want als ze iets niet kunnen, is het wel veinzen. Zoals overigens te lezen staat in Wittgensteins filosofische onderzoeking 250: ‘Waarom kan een hond geen pijn veinzen? Is hij te eerlijk? Zou je een hond pijn kunnen leren veinzen? Je kunt hem misschien leren bij bepaalde gelegenheden te janken alsof hij pijn heeft, zonder dat hij pijn heeft. Maar voor het eigenlijke veinzen zou de juiste omgeving voor dit gedrag nog altijd ontbreken.’ In dat verband is het verhaal van Odysseus’ hond, dat in De staart ter sprake komt, heel typisch. Alleen de hond Argos herkent Odysseus, die na twintig jaar omzwervingen vermomd naar het eiland Ithaca terugkeert. Argos spitst de oren, kwispel-staart en sterft. Slechts hij heeft de echte Odysseus gezien ondanks de vermomming, over de tijd heen. Wat de mensen niet kunnen, kan hij wel.“


Kristien Hemmerechts (Brussel, 27 augustus 1955)


De Australische dichter, schrijver en journalist David Rowbotham werd geboren in de Darling Downs van Queensland op 27 augustus 1924. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010



America saved my life. I should like to
admit this conviction, free of fancy,
as the lasting reality time made of it.

It has been a long life. America, with whose
servicemen I shared a Pacific War perimeter
in a world of total combat, flew in
penicillin. While I was still in field
hospital, Truman dropped the Atom Bomb,
sending troops who had lived on their nerves
far too long half crazy in the night; and
guaranteeing my return home. Subsequently
I was to turn to America for periodic
residence, and to be given it amongst the
most generous people I have known. During
one sojourn, American oak broke a bad fall
that could have removed me as the Pacific
nearly did. At the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota,
where for several years I was a visitor,
cortisone was discovered; it sustains
breathing, and for that purpose I require it.

Hence this series of Poems For America,
given the specific title of America My Breath,
with Dedication and appended Histories.

If, in the series, I seem to have written as
a pillager, putting my New World to work for
me, I have done so as a person who found
there, for all its faults, a great nation,
and a sense of freedom and the remarkable.
I hope American friends will accept my
examination of their epic history. I have
used it as a warning image of what can be
lost, like breath


David Rowbotham (27 augustus 1924 – 6 oktober 2010)


De Britse schrijfster Norah Lofts werd geboren op 27 augustus 1904 in Shipham, Norfolk als Norah Robinson. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010


Uit: Eleanor the Queen

“It might be necessary for you to leave quickly,” she said, “so I will leave it ajar. If anyone should come to that door”—she nodded towards the door on the other side of the room, a heavy, bolted door—“waste no time. Run. For once you know the secret, your life will be in real danger!” “What secret?” he asked. “Oh, Eleanor, what is all this? Why did you send for me so secretly? And it’s been so long . . .” He took her hand and brushed it with his lips as he realized that, after so long a separation, they had hardly greeted one another, that her first words to him had been a warning of danger. “What has happened?” he asked again. “So many things,” she said heavily. “Terrible things, Richard. Perhaps it was wrong of me to send for you . . . but I couldn’t bear for you to hear it all from the lips of a casual gossip. And I’ve been virtually a prisoner ever since . . . ever since . . .” Her voice broke and Richard reached out a comforting arm which she ignored. “Sit down, dear heart, and I’ll try to tell you everything. You would do well to drink some wine . . . pour for me, too. Richard, the first thing is . . . my father is dead. He died six weeks or more ago, in Compostella.” Richard set back the flagon he had lifted. “My sweet!” he said and, taking both her hands, began to blurt out some muddled words of sympathy. Words never came easily to him, and now shock and bewilderment made him less than usually vocal. Eleanor listened for a moment and then drew away. “Yes, you were fond of him, too; and he of you, Richard. And I’ve hardly had time to realize or grieve for him properly . . .” She steadied herself. “I didn’t send for you to tell you that only, there is so much more to say, and perhaps not much time.” She looked at the barred door, and as Richard began to speak she went on hurriedly, “Let me tell you first about how the news came and then you’ll understand why I am frightened for you”.


Norah Lofts (27 August 1904 – 10 September 1983)


De Engelse schrijver Cecil Scott Forester (pseudoniem van Cecil Lewis Troughton Smith) werd geboren in Cairo, Egypte, op 27 augustus 1899. Zie ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2007 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2008 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2009 en ook mijn blog van 27 augustus 2010


Uit: The African Queen

„The mission, to which they had given their lives, could hardly be said to exist, now that Von Hanneken and his troops had descended upon the place and had swept off the entire village, converts and heathen alike, to be sol—diers or bearers in the Army of German Central Africa, which he was assembling. Livestock and poultry, pots and pans and foodstuffs, all had been taken, even the portable chapel, leaving only the mission bungalow standing on the edge of the deserted clearing. So the weakness vanished from SamuelÌs voice as he went on to pray that the awful calamity of war which had descended upon the world would soon pass away, that the slaughter and destruction would cease, and that when they had re—gained their sanity men would turn from war to universal peace. And with the utterance of the last of his petition SamuelÌs voice grew stronger yet, as he prayed that the Almighty would bless the arms of England, and carry her safely through this the severest of all her trials, and would crown her efforts with victory over the godless militarists who had brought about this disaster. There was a ring of fighting spirit in SamuelÌs voice as he said this, and an Old Testament flavour in his speech, as another Samuel had once prayed for victory over the Amalekites. ÏAmen! Amen! Amen!Ó sobbed Rose with her head bowed over her clasped hands. They knelt in silence for a few seconds when the prayer was finished, and then they rose to their feet. There was still just light enough for Rose to see SamuelÌs white—clad figure and his white face as he stood there swaying. She made no move to light the lamp. Now that German Central Africa was in arms against England no one could tell when next they would be able to obtain oil, or matches. They were cut off from all communication with the world save through hostile territory. ÏI think, sister,Ó said Samuel, faintly Ïthat I shall re—tire now.Ó Rose did not help him to undress Ûthey were brother and sister and strictly brought up, and it would have been impossible to her unless he had been quite incapable of helping himself Û but she crept in, in the dark after he was in bed, to see that his mosquito curtains were prop—erly closed round him. ÏGood night, sister,Ó said Samuel. Even in that swel—tering heat his teeth were chattering. She herself went back to her own room and lay on her string bed in a torment of heat, although she wore only her thin nightdress.“


Cecil Scott Forester (27 augustus 1899 – 2 april 1966)